How to Copyright an Idea for a Book

••• blue book image by Alexey Klementiev from

Write the book. Under United States copyright law creation of the a book or any other work automatically establishes copyright. No other action of the author is required, but some other actions may be beneficial.

File copyright registration. Registering a work with the United States Copyright Office fixes a creation date that can document its protected existence before any intellectual infringement occurs. The registration date is determined by when the work is received in the Copyright Office.

Affix a "Notice of Copyright" to the book or other visually perceptible work. The letter "c" enclosed in a circle, with the year the work was created and the author's name constitute a notice of copyright in the United States.

Publish and distribute the book. While no longer required by United States copyright law secure copyright, publication also establishes an author's ownership of any work.



About the Author

Jeff Hammack developed his writing skills over a 30-year career in fire fighting and emergency medical services, routinely producing policy, technical and training documents and newsletters. His first freelance piece was published in in the May 2008 issue of "Hampton Roads Health Journal.”

Photo Credits

  • blue book image by Alexey Klementiev from